For the undefeated Glenelg Country School girls soccer team, a seven-goal domination is just another day on the field.
The Dragons controlled every facet of the game against visiting Pallotti on Thursday, winning 7-0 to advance to the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland C Conference championship game at Stevenson University on Sunday at 5 p.m.
The result “is on par with how we have been playing this entire season,” Glenelg Country coach Christy Cole said.
“I wouldn’t say they don’t belong in our conference,” Pallotti coach Andrew Lacroix said, “but they’re head and shoulders above everybody else. I think it’s been pretty obvious all season."
The Dragons’ defense suffocated Pallotti and didn’t allow the Panthers to threaten the goal. The offense controlled possession, which led to six first-half goals, and the midfield seemingly won every 50-50 ball.
While Glenelg Country (14-0) failed to score on its first three opportunities in the opening 10 minutes, the Dragons capitalized on each chance thereafter.
In the 11th minute, senior forward Sabrina DeLeonibus opened the floodgates with a header into the left-side on a deep cross from the right corner from sophomore forward Kiersten Moore.
Six minutes later, Moore assisted senior midfielder Catelyn Gamble with a great back-pass inside the box. Gamble calmly placed the shot into the bottom-left corner.
“I think over the years with this particular group, the finishing part has just been totally solid this season in terms of finishing the ball out of the air, which has been key for us,” Cole said.
Senior midfielder Chloe Lewis proved her coach right in terms of finishing on the third goal of the afternoon. Winning the ball at the 50-yard line, she dribbled past four defenders, the ball seemingly glued to her foot. She took the ball all the way to the 10-yard line before calmly finishing her right-footed shot into the left side.
“That’s normally what I do,” said Lewis, who scored twice in the game. “Sometimes if it feels right, I just dribble. I do what feels natural."
Lewis said her ability to possess and dribble the ball is something she has learned through her time with her club team, Premiere Soccer Club based in Baltimore. It was on display throughout the game as numerous times she was able to beat several defenders with dribbles.
“That’s just kind of how we play,” she said, “try to keep the ball, not just kick it, and like possess the ball up the field from when we get the ball from the defense.
Lewis added that she can’t wait to play in her last game, the championship game on Sunday, because the Dragons suffered their only loss of the season in that game last year, a 3-1 defeat to Mt. Carmel.
She looks forward to “winning with my fellow seniors. I’m excited to finish all the hard work that we’ve done this past four years. ... I’m just finally ready for it to be worth it.
Moore, freshman Alisha Netus and sophomore Kara Barnes also scored for Glenelg Country.
As for the Panthers (9-8-2), their season came to a disappointing end. But overall, Lacroix said his team has a lot to be proud of.
“It’s the farthest we’ve gone in five or six years as a team, so I think we did well,” he said. “I think the seniors played well and I think we had a great season.”
The Panthers played some of the best teams in the conference tough, including a tie with second-seeded Chapelgate, and a late-season 4-0 win over third-seeded St. Timothy’s.
“If you took away the first six games of the season and you looked at every game after that, our record was really good, we really played cohesive soccer, and everyone was on the same page. ... We’re as good as any team in the conference, except [Glenelg Country] pretty much.”